Adiantum. Maidenhair
1. Potters Cyclopedia 1988
2. USD 1926

Compiled and Edited by Ivor Hughes.

1. MAIDENHAIR Adiantum capillus-veneris L.
Fam. Polypodiaceae.
Synonyms: Venus Hair, Rock Fern.
Habitat: Southern Europe, occasionally found further north including Britain, and parts of the USA and Canada.

Description: Fronds up to 30cm long, two or three times pinnate, each leaflet or "pinnule" up to about 1 cm, fan-shaped, with a toothed upper margin, narrowing at the base to a short petiolule. Veins prominent, converging at the base, and spore-cases (sori) visible at the edge of the undersurface. Stems shiny, dark brown. Taste, sweetish and astringent; odour, faint.
Part Used: Fern.
Constituents: (i) Flavonoid glycosides; rutin, isoquercetin, astragalin [37], kaempferol 3,7-diglucoside and kaempferol 3-sulphate [877,878] (ii) Hydroxycinnamic acid sulphate esters, four of which have been isolated [877] (iii) Terpenoids including adiantone [37].
Medicinal Use: Expectorant, antitussive, demulcent. Maidenhair is used as an ingredient of cough and bronchial medicines, and as a hair tonic. It may be used as an infusion. An extract of the plant has diuretic and hypoglycaemic activity in animals [879, 880].
Preparations: Powder, 0.5-2 g.
Regulatory Status: GSL.

2.USD 1926 Adiantum. Maidenhair.
Tradition has attributed to various species of this genus of ferns valuable properties in chronic pulmonie, catarrhs-A. pedatum, L., of America, A. Capillus-Veneris L., of Europe, A. lunulatum Burm., of India, are the most important species. The European species is sometimes employed on the Continent as an emmenagogue under the name of polytrichi, polytrichon, or kalliphyllon, and is given in the fonn of infusion, sweetened with sugar or honey, and a syrup prepared from it is said to be popular in France under the name of strop de capillaire, and official in the French Codex.